The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/Lachin y Gair
LACHIN Y GAIR.
Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses!
Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy, wander'd:
"Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
"Ill starr'd, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Years have roll'd on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
- Lachin y Gair, or, as it is pronounced in the Erse, Loch na Garr, towers proudly pre-eminent in the Northern Highlands, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain. Be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most sublime and picturesque amongst our "Caledonian Alps." Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat of eternal snows. Near Lachin y Gair I spent some of the early part of my life, the recollection of which has given birth to the following stanzas. [Prefixed to the poem in Hours of Idleness and Poems O. and T.]
- This word is erroneously pronounced plad; the proper pronunciation (according to the Scotch) is shown by the orthography.
- I allude here to my maternal ancestors, "the Gordons," many of whom fought for the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. This branch was nearly allied by blood, as well as attachment, to the Stuarts. George, the second Earl of Huntley, married the Princess Annabella Stuart, daughter of James I. of Scotland. By her he left four sons: the third, Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as one of my progenitors.
- Whether any perished in the Battle of Culloden, I am not certain; but, as many fell in the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, "pars pro toto."
- A tract of the Highlands so called. There is also a Castle of Braemar.
- [The Bagpipe.—Hours of Idleness. (See note, p. 133.)]
- [The love of mountains to the last made Byron
"Hail in each crag a friend's familiar face,
And Loch na Garr with Ida looked o'er Troy."
The Island (1823), Canto II. stanza xii.]